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Sat Apr 14, 2012, 04:26 PM

Obama and ENDA: How about helping him get it passed?

Lots of disappointed people these days with the President over his not signing an executive order than would bar discrimination against gay and lesbian workers in federal contractors, and I'm one of them. True, this one executive order doesn't fix everything the actual ENDA law would, but it would at least be something, right?

However, the administration has said again and again that an EO would not be effective enough for the President's goals, and from what I'm seeing, it might even be counter productive. From the 4/12 press briefing:

Again, I think that the DADT repeal is instructive here in terms of the approach that we’re taking at this time. And while it is not our usual practice to discuss executive orders that may or may not be under consideration, we do not expect that an EO on LGBT non-discrimination for federal contractors will be issued at this time. We support, as I just said, legislation that has been introduced -- the Employment Non-Discrimination Act -- and we will continue to work with congressional supporters to build -- sponsors, rather, to build support for it.


What that paragraph says when you read between the lines is that the opposition to the President signing an EO on LGBT non-discrimination for federal contractors is coming from Congress. Jay Carney is being as politic as possible in saying it, but it's right there. There's an approach that's similar to the DADT repeal (another situation where an EO was held back at the request of Congress so they could get the votes together for the repeal). Here, it's the same thing.

So if you want an EO, call your Congress critters and find out who's the holdup. If you can't change their mind, you can at least get them on the record as to why they oppose an EO for federal contractors. Is ENDA broadly popular among the American populace? Is the limited EO? Great! Tell them that. Have your facts and your polls in line and cite them in your letters and your calls.

Or alternately, you could be working to implement the plan of ENDA's sponsors as described by Carney:

We’re deeply committed to working hand-in-hand with partners in the LGBT community on a number of fronts to build the case for employment non-discrimination policies including by complementing the existing body of compelling research with government-backed data and analysis, building a coalition of key stakeholders and decision-makers, directly engaging with and educating all sectors of the business community -- from major corporations to contractors to small business -- and raising public awareness about the human and financial costs of discrimination in the work force.


Tell your stories of discrimination in the work force. Tell the ones you've experienced and the ones you've observed. Talk about the human and financial costs to everyone who will listen -- most especially in letters or phone calls to your Congress critters. But do it here as well, in this thread, in other threads, on Facebook, in family meetings, wherever you can find an audience willing to listen, and maybe a few not that willing as well!

Get into a local gay rights group and find out what you can do to advance the legislation. If you can help complement the existing body of compelling research, do that! Talk to business leaders about who they hire and who they fire.

Every minute spent resenting President Obama for not signing a band-aid EO is a minute wasted. Do you want to end all the discrimination for good? Or do you want to hate on Obama, the only 2012 major party candidate who would sign ENDA the minute it hits his desk? Which is going to get us down the road to ENDA faster?

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Reply Obama and ENDA: How about helping him get it passed? (Original post)
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 OP
mitchtv Apr 2012 #1
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #3
joeybee12 Apr 2012 #12
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #14
MrScorpio Apr 2012 #2
ruggerson Apr 2012 #4
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #6
ruggerson Apr 2012 #7
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #8
Bluenorthwest Apr 2012 #9
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #10
ruggerson Apr 2012 #11
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #13
ruggerson Apr 2012 #15
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #16
ruggerson Apr 2012 #18
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #22
ruggerson Apr 2012 #25
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #27
emulatorloo Apr 2012 #40
GeorgeGist Apr 2012 #39
Occulus Apr 2012 #17
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #21
Occulus Apr 2012 #23
emulatorloo Apr 2012 #41
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #19
ruggerson Apr 2012 #24
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #26
ruggerson Apr 2012 #28
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #29
ruggerson Apr 2012 #30
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #31
ruggerson Apr 2012 #32
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #34
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #38
Bluenorthwest Apr 2012 #5
LonePirate Apr 2012 #20
fightforfreedom123 Apr 2012 #33
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #35
FreeState Apr 2012 #36
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #37

Response to Bolo Boffin (Original post)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 04:35 PM

1. Vaguely insulting,

What do you think we have been doing since the 60's?. Besides I can walk and chew gum at the same time . Politicians are only accountable at election time. "Speak now, or forever hold your peace(piece)"

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Response to mitchtv (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 04:50 PM

3. I'm sorry you felt vaguely insulted.

If you've been building coalitions, building the evidence, and sharing it with all levels of businesses and Congressional members, then keep doing it: this OP wasn't intended for your instruction. In fact, it was intended to validate what you've been doing all along.

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Response to mitchtv (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:07 PM

12. Exactly...another attempt to absolve Obama from any reponsbility from anything

 

Too bad the unrec feature is gone.

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Response to joeybee12 (Reply #12)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:10 PM

14. Nope. I'm disappointed like everyone else with this.

But I'm also ready to work Obama's plan with him.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Original post)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 04:37 PM

2. You gotta think BIG!

If we want fully equality in this country, we better go for ALL the marbles.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Original post)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 04:50 PM

4. What do you think the national LGBT lobby has been doing for the last twenty years?

ENDA is not going to happen any time soon, because the Republicans control the House.

The Congressfolk who support ENDA want Obama to sign this limited EO, so as to at least move the process forward.

Your OP is merely regurgitating campaign propoganda. The vast majority of LGBT Americans in this country are going to vote to reelect the President, but that doesn't mean we have to shut up when he makes an immoral decision based purely on (mistaken) political concerns.

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Response to ruggerson (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 04:52 PM

6. "The Congressfolk who support ENDA want Obama to sign this limited EO"

Please document this.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #6)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 04:57 PM

7. How about the lead sponsor of the bitll?

The lead Senate sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act has expressed disapproval over recent news the White House won’t take administrative action to prohibit job discrimination against LGBT people.

In a statement Thursday, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said he’s “deeply disappointed” the administration decided not issue an executive order requiring companies doing business with the federal government to have LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination policies.

“I am deeply disappointed that the Administration will allow companies that accept federal contracts to discriminate against workers on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Merkley said. “Such discrimination in the workplace is unacceptable. There is no way that equal opportunity exists for all Americans when such discrimination is tolerated.”

The senator continued he appreciates the president’s support for ENDA, which would prohibit job bias against LGBT people in the workplace, but that issuing the directive would have an “constructive step” in the effort to pass the legislation.

“I appreciate the president’s support for ENDA and will keep pushing for legislative action,” Merkley said. “However, an executive order would be a very constructive step forward and help build momentum to pass the bill. It’s disappointing that the White House is passing on an opportunity to make immediate gains for equal opportunity in America.”

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Response to ruggerson (Reply #7)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:01 PM

8. OK, so Jeff Merkley's not the source of the Congressional hold up.

What does Harry Reid say about it?

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Response to ruggerson (Reply #7)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:02 PM

9. That's my Senator, Jeff Merkely, and I worked hard for Jeff's election. This is why.

 

Which is why it is so amusing to hear this 'call Congress' crap.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #9)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:05 PM

10. I'm trying really hard to be respectful of your position.

Please grant me the same consideration.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:07 PM

11. We've been dealing with this for decades

It behooves you, frankly, to listen to us on these issues.

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Response to ruggerson (Reply #11)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:09 PM

13. I'm happy to listen to you on these issues when you're talking real solutions. n/t

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #13)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:11 PM

15. The real solution is for Obama to sign the limited EO and keep the ball rolling on ENDA

n/t

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Response to ruggerson (Reply #15)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:13 PM

16. That's one, but it's clear the White House is saying signing the EO will hurt the ENDA coalition.

If that's not coming from Jeff Merkley, then where is that coming from?

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #16)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:20 PM

18. No rational person believes that - it is an election year excuse

ENDA doesn't stand a chance because the Republicans control the house. It's dead in the water COMPLETELY until such time as we again control both chambers of Congress. In the meantime, Obama could very easily sign this, keep the process moving forward and come out the hero, as LGBT employment anti discrimination measures have overwhelming support.

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Response to ruggerson (Reply #18)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:26 PM

22. What does Barney Frank say about the limited EO?

Somewhere in Congress someone, or more likely several someones, have asked President Obama to hold off on the limited EO. There isn't a single other reason why he wouldn't sign it right now.

I'm asking you where that is coming from. We know it's not Jeff Merkley, the chief sponsor. Who is it?

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #22)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:32 PM

25. Yes, there is a reason. They don't want a gay issue to come up during campaign season

It's called political cowardice.

And as I have written below,, Barney Frank and 70 + other House members have written Obama a letter asking that he sign the EO.

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Response to ruggerson (Reply #25)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:38 PM

27. But President Obama talks about his accomplishments in gay rights and his plans all the time.

So I don't believe that.

And as I've pointed out below, there are a few missing signatures of leading Democratic Congress people on that letter.

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Response to ruggerson (Reply #25)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 03:21 PM

40. Gay issues will come up in the campaign. Romney will be anti-gay, Obama will kick him in the nuts

And run on his record.

There is no doubt in my mind that this will happen. The Republicans will go heavily anti-gay to ensure the nut bags come out to vote for Romney.


Team Obama is smart enough to know that.

I don't know what is up with the EO, but I don't think it is electoral "cowardice". Some kind of Strategery maybe similar to how DADT played out, but it is not about the election.

The issue is coming up in the campaign. No ifs, ands or buts.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #16)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 11:12 AM

39. It's coming from cowards.

Obviously.

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Response to ruggerson (Reply #15)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:19 PM

17. As we have seen over the past couple days,

Some DUers- a sickeningly large number, if we judge by the responses on the thread Better Believe It posted- are virulently opposed to that solution... or, apparently, any solution.

What a lovely, gay-friendly place DU is every time we visit this topic!

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Response to Occulus (Reply #17)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:22 PM

21. People on BBI threads are virulently opposed to BBI's incessant Obama bashing.

And as a gay man, I'm pretty danged gay-friendly, I can guarantee you.

Perhaps you could discuss the topic?

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #21)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:28 PM

23. I am aware of that.

However, in that case, it isn't just the BBI effect.

Responses like this on that thread are seen every time the subject comes up, and i mean every single time, over the course of years.

This board is not gay-friendly. Not by a long shot.

That's all I'm going to say because we're drifting into meta territory...

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Response to Occulus (Reply #23)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 03:28 PM

41. Two kinds of neg responses in that thread, anti-BBI and Strategical Differences w BBI about how to

accomplish the goal. EO or legislation? Or some combination? etc.

Neither of those kinds of responses are anti-gay. Those doubting BBI's sincerity are about BBI's persona.

Those discussing strategy have the same goals, despite the fact that they may differ on how to accomplish the goals.

No doubt there are too many homophobes here. But AFAIK DU does not advocate homophobia, and homophobes are usually called out. As they should be.

Having said all of that, IMHO the firing of federal employees based on sexual orientation needs to stop and stop now.

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Response to ruggerson (Reply #7)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:20 PM

19. What does Barney Frank say about this?

I can't find anything by searching. Perhaps you know where I can get Frank's take on the limited EO.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #19)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:28 PM

24. Frank is one of 72 Housemembers who have sent a letter to Obama requesting he sign the EO

http://www.washingtonblade.com/2012/04/03/72-lawmakers-to-obama-sign-enda-exec-order/

"Reps. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) drafted the letter and circulated it among House members. Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) and retiring gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) were two other original signers"

Now, Bolo, you might want to edit your OP. It is borderline offensive.

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Response to ruggerson (Reply #24)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:37 PM

26. "But prominent members of House Democratic leadership aren’t among the signers."

But prominent members of House Democratic leadership aren’t among the signers. The names of both House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) aren’t on the letter.


I think we're getting closer to what I asked for: the source of Congressional objection to the limited EO.

Please don't threaten me.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #26)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:42 PM

28. WTF -

Who is threatening you? You keep moving the bar.

There are Democrats in the House who are also weasels on gay rights. Does that surprise you? You're buying into political spin from the people who are political cowards, when you should be listening to the people who support ENDA and have sponsored it. They have your best interests at heart, no?

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Response to ruggerson (Reply #28)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:46 PM

29. "There are conservative Democrats in the House who are also weasels on gay rights."

No, this doesn't surprise me at all. In fact, I think we're getting to the true reason the limited EO isn't getting signed, but it has nothing to do with President Obama's political cowardice at all.

I think being angry at the right people and holding their feet to the fire is a lot more constructive.

And yes, with your demand I edit my OP because it was "borderline offensive", you were threatening me. Go ahead and alert it if it doesn't meet community standards. Failing that, I'm happy to keep discussing the topic with you.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #29)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:54 PM

30. Siince when

does "you might want to" turn into a demand? On what planet?

I'm happy to keep discussing this with you,, but you keep moving the goalposts which indicates to me, that for whatever reason, you are more interested in giving cover to Obama on this than in pushing him to do the moral, right and courageous thing.

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Response to ruggerson (Reply #30)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:57 PM

31. I'm not moving the goalposts.

My question is "Why won't Obama sign the EO?"

The answer we keep closing in on.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #31)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 06:04 PM

32. The answer is: It's election season and he doesn't want to go out on a limb

for what he believes to be a contentious social issue.

If he signs the EO, he takes the heat from the right and even from some of his supporters on the left. But if he keeps just saying he will sign ENDA when it eventually hits his desk, that's campaign talk that he hopes will enable him to keep walking the tightrope - giving lip service on this to LGBT Americans and not rattling the cages of the homophobes in both parties.

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Response to ruggerson (Reply #32)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 06:11 PM

34. But that's not true.

His actual record on gay rights means he's getting plenty of heat from the right. Can they be any more mad than 100% mad at him?

I just don't find your explanation to make sense. There's a deal here that President Obama is honoring with the Congress. Jay Carney as much as said so in the 4/12 press conference. With everything else he has done for the gay community, President Obama would have signed this EO otherwise.

The answer is with Leader Pelosi, Whip Hoyer, Leader Reid, and Assistant Leader Durbin.

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Response to ruggerson (Reply #24)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 06:41 PM

38. Also, 72 members aren't even a majority of Democratic members of the House.

We need to call the people who haven't signed this letter and get them on the record as to why not.

The Republicans are a lost cause, of course.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Original post)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 04:51 PM

5. The ENDA has come up in Congress each session less one, since 1994

 

the people who worked hard for this are the same people who are still doing so, and will continue to do so, as it is the right thing to do. So it is the President who is joining that effort, it is he who offered his advocacy and his fierce support. Pressuring him is part of the effort to get the law passed. He is not exempt to criticism nor from all manner of rhetorical pressures and I do not think he wishes such an exemption. He is free to ask for one for himself.
This is an ongoing, fairly well organized effort. Part of his campaign from primary to general included his promises on this legislation, which was already a great and pressing issue getting much attention. He pledged to put the full power of his administration to the passing of ENDA. A wise constituent makes those up for reelection remain aware of the electoral contract that is in place.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Original post)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:21 PM

20. The Rs can still kill ENDA in the Senate even if we retake the House.

The Dems in the Senate do not have the courage to eliminate the filibuster and there is no way we are reaching 60 Dem senators after this election (or maybe 56 or 57 Dems with 3 or 4 moderate Republicans).

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Response to LonePirate (Reply #20)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 06:09 PM

33. An Executive Order would not help

 

The ENDA would.

President Obama and fellow Democrats are not spineless. So, we not have a "Bash Obama and Democrats" thread?

Instead could this be a "How to we get the US Congress to pass the ENDA so President Obama can sign it into law?" thread?

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Response to fightforfreedom123 (Reply #33)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 06:14 PM

35. An Executive Order would help LGBT employees of federal contractors.

I'm trying to a) work the plan laid out by Jay Carney in the press conference, and b) put the fault for the President not signing the Executive Order directly where it lies.

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Response to fightforfreedom123 (Reply #33)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 06:14 PM

36. And no one listens - he must stop the firings that he can now - these are real people

these are not imaginary people having their lively hoods destroyed - real people with families. So what can you do to help - demand that the President sign a EO today and pressure the GOP to pass a bill. Thats what you can do to help.

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Response to FreeState (Reply #36)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 06:38 PM

37. That's an awful story you've posted in GD.

Thanks for bringing our attention to it.

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